Unionlearn welcomes plans for ESOL strategy

Unionlearn welcomes the government plans to develop a national strategy for English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) in 2019.

Besides an ESOL strategy the government’s Integrated Communities Action Plan promises to fund community-based English language provision and set up a fund to coordinate local authorities language offer and support.

The government states that boosting “English skills is fundamental to achieving our vision of integrated communities”.

The action plan follows from a consultation to a green paper carried out in 2018 and a recent government response to it. The response acknowledges the need for an overall strategy, better joined-up provision and funding as well as progression pathways for ESOL learners.

Unionlearn Policy Officer Kirsi Kekki said:

Unionlearn has repeatedly been calling for an ESOL strategy for England. For too long England has seen without a strategic approach unlike Wales and Scotland. We’re happy to take part into discussions on what the strategy needs to cover.

We know from learner surveys and union project evaluations that ESOL learning delivers significant benefits for learners. Many unions are doing valuable work in supporting learning and everyday English language learning.

Unions also keep engaging employers to do more to ensure people get help with their language skills. A good employer develops their staff and it does, after all, make good business sense to have good communication going on in the workplace.”